Friday, March 21, 2014

"The Race of a Lifetime" by Parker

Bang!    The gun goes off, shoulders go up, elbows go out. Like cheetahs fighting over their prey, 10 lanky girls rush to the inner lanes of the track. Lap 1. The determined faces, the adrenaline flashing. I’m in fourth, but I’m comfortable. Follow their feet Parker, follow their feet. As we come around the second curve, I lock my eyes on the feet of the brunette in front of me. I put my feet in sync with hers and take a deep breath. We cross the starting line. Lap 2. One quarter of the way there. You can do this. Pain is mental. The millions of eyes in the stands look down at me, following me as I make my way down the back stretch. I step in to the second lane, kicking my feet up faster and faster. Moving in front of third place, I feel a spike scratch my calf. But I’m not letting that stop me. I focus. Lap 3. Time to make my move. I creep up behind second and first as everyone slows down on the most difficult section of the race, but this is my strength. I hear my coach scream, “NOW!” somewhere in the distance and I know it’s time. So I go. Lap 4. I take off like a bullet, leaving the other two girls behind me in the dust. It’s now or never. I kick like I never thought possible and I slowly stretch the gap between me and the pack even farther. Coming around the last curve, I see the clock. Last one, fast one. With everything I have left, I sprint to the finish. My body goes numb – there’s nothing stopping me now. I lean over the line and crash to the ground. There’s nothing left in me. I’m too weak to stand up, let alone walk. I see my coach jumping up and down. As he runs over to me, I see him mouth “5:29” and I relax. You finally made it.

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